Profile by Amanda Morales (’19)
Who is Professor deVries?
Prof. Victoria deVries always loved writing short stories and poetry during her grammar and high school years, so becoming an English literature major in college was no surprise. Over the years, she has written 35 interview/human-interest articles and edited more than 80 books. She likes to read fantasy and lately has been doing more non-fiction. A few of her favorite fantasy books include The Life of Pi, The Last Unicorn, and Perelandra.
After earning a Master’s in English and education from the University of Virginia, Prof. de Vries taught on the high school level for four years. While she greatly enjoyed working with high school students, she has found special satisfaction teaching first-year college students.
Importance of What She Teaches
Prof. deVries says that developing one’s critical thinking skills is very important because good thinking can lead to good writing. Her hands-on experience as editorial director of a marketing company in New York City, where she worked with a wide variety of Fortune 500 clients, showed her, among other things, the importance of clear thinking and writing—something she stresses in the classroom.
Understanding writing as a process with various stages/steps is also essential. Writing, reading, and critical thinking skills are portable—students can take them anywhere they go in life.
Favorite Course To Teach
At Pace, Prof. deVries has taught English 110 and 120. While she appreciates the strengths in both courses, comparing English 110 (composition and rhetoric) and 120 (critical writing), she said,
“I think 120 is more dynamic, I think I enjoy it more. It allows students to get outside of themselves and tackle issues that are socially relevant issues and there are a variety of activities that I’ve used to enhance student learning in those areas.”
Prof. deVries has enjoyed working with all of her students. Some students show a real spark in terms of creativity, interest in writing, and desire to improve. Students who are dedicated to learning really bring out the best in her as a teacher.
Advice for Future Teachers
If you are planning to be a future teacher, Prof. deVries believes that you should know and love the subject you want to teach. Be willing to work hard, and be a people person who enjoys working with students. Encourage your students to recognize their uniqueness, and help them to enhance their skills and talents by providing a variety of engaging learning activities.
Being over-prepared with your lessons is a good idea so you can switch things around at a moment’s notice if necessary. Be flexible and ready to learn new things and instructional methods all the time.